Monday, January 23, 2017

Here's a blurry old image of our Board scrubbing/painting walls.  We've since created a circuit board pattern on all of the hackspace walls and erected dividers from hastings shelves.  We've also seemed in a circuit pattern into the carpet for the front room(and half of the eng/incubation rooms).  much of the junk is on shelves now.
Inline image 1

You'll notice the burnt out lights.  I like the dark... but I'm going to install new fixtures this month.   One of our awesome members is an electrician and he's helping me to not suck. Here's the lighting diagram. Inline image 2

Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pics of upcoming building

MEH will be GLORIOUS! Jan 12th!  We are moving into a new place.  Here's something to tide you over:

Tentative plans for new floor layout.  Hacker lab may get converted to Aquaponics Lab.

There are certain people I have made MEH for.  These are passionate, hilarious, yet lonely nerds.  Nerds--who are alone even when they're around others.  These people are the reason I want MEH to exist.  

Sometimes conversation... good... brilliant... daring conversation is like good sex... but it can last an entire day and can give birth to a beautiful idea(instead of a whiny miniature flesh golem waiting for some semblance of soul to be bludgeoned into it by the iron-cold hammer of reality).

Smart people can get really suicidal if they don't have opportunities to share their dreams and passions.  You essentially could die from blue-balls of the mind.

I'm just assuming that everything feels like shit right now.  Hang in there.  The hackspace is starting up with a loud "BLARGGGGG!!!""  over the rooftops of the state capital on Jan 12th!

PS:  Pics, or it didn't happen in my mind:
Engineering Bay

Welcome room(with crafting)

Hacker Lab(may become aquaponics and our competitive security team can just use the classroom)

Uhm... a hallway... with ADA access to our bathrooms 
Aforementioned Classroom(Only 5 students seats available, we don't intend on teaching large classes)

Electronics Room

What more do you want?  You want renderings of the bathroom?  go away!  Come back in a month!

oh fine... here:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Image result for pop culture reference to limbo
As of two weeks ago, MEH is in a state of limbo.  We are saving our pennies for a big renovation and waiting for Jan 12th when our tenants move out.  We can't do anything until Jan 12th anyway.  I know it's depressing that we won't be around much for the next two months.  Especially during the holidays.  But we will come back with a ROAR!

Hmm...  Maybe I could...  damn...  I don't know.  I'm tearing my hair out in anticipation.  Impending advances require just as much preparation as impending doom.  Nearly every battle is decided before boots even hit the ground.
If you want, you could come over and help me plan.  Your not the first person to wonder about MEH.  Perhaps we should meet tomorrow somewhere(with Internet) and get some of this prep work done.  I could even turn it into a weekly work-and-meet where we all "businessnate."  Perhaps my house?
Here are some of the things that need preparing:
  • New website that tracks membership dues(poking at  It's under construction right now.
    • Needs graphics.  Photos need to be shopped. 
    • Pages need to be clear, clean and a touch quirky.  I'm thinking of scrapping the whole thing and just going with midnight.js and/or wow.js
  • Door audit/access device to read QR codes and look up accounts
  • 6 month rental on a Billboard needs to be designed. I would spend 4+ hours brainstorming before I ever seriously set lead to paper.  So far, all I can think is on malfunction junction($1500)...  some white Helvettica on a black background "Apathy?"    <next line>  "MEH!"  Then run an ad in the paper($180), radio($mother fucking free), adsense($200), and facebook($300) explaining it.  What will happen is people will ask others "LOL.  What's up with that stupid sign?!" and some people who think they're in the know(but really they we just exposed to a different vector of advertising) will say"OH!  Yeah.  That's something for a hackspace".  Which then prompts the question:  "what's a hackspace?".  Emotions get talked about ideas are forgotten.
  • ASCAP license needs to be purchased, FAA needs to be updated(10 days from now), tower needs stamp(again).  FCC needs amendment.
  • MEH sign needs to be made to spin($100 budget)
  • Workflow for the remodeling must be figured out ($500 budget to remodel)
    • That will buy us paint, new lights/ballasts, and carpet tacks :P. 
    • Need a statement of work(possibly in Gantt form)
      • I know we have to assemble 90 feet of Hastings shelving
      • We need to disassemble/reassemble 40 ft of aquaponics shelving
      • We need to assemble 20 feet of shelves from our old place
      • We need to move the rest of the crap out of your sheds.
      • Mount new ballasts
      • Place down carpet runners
      • set up the computer lab tables and hook up all the computers
      • Run a little Cat5(2 labs and 15 PCs)
      • Move in 20 feet of matching tool cabinets
      • Set up wall-folding bench tables from the engineering bay
      • Hang shelving on craft room wall
      • Set up receptionist desk
      • Set up information corral with our awards, accolades, publications
  • Make basement inhabitable for my wife and I....  *sigh*..  this is a lot of work and a fair amount of money... but it will net MEH $600-$900 a MONTH from thereafter.

Hah!  Now that I enumerate all my work, it seems quite reasonable!

Thursday, June 12, 2014



 We are christening Hackspace Delta 3(the fourth hackerspace location).  Meet up with coders, networkers, hackers and geeks!

Remember back in the day when we used to have awkward barbeques hastily thrown together at the last minute?  Well things have CHANGED!  Now we have awkward barbecues hastily thrown together at the last minute!  Notice the spelling?  It's more appropriate for the locale and setting.

Same insanity.  Same time.  More channels.

Ingredients we have:
  • Burgers (lots)
  • Hot Dogs
  • Buns for both
  • Cheese
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mana/Health potions fitted into pre-boiled antique medicine bottles.  If you're lucky, you'll get some morphine!  Really just Monster energy drink.

People have already volunteered to get:
  • Propane Grill w/Propane
  • Chips
  • Mayo
  • Coleslaw
  • Potato Salad
  • Tomatoes

We need:
  • Deserts
  • Home-made dishes
  • Paper Cups
  • People
  • Weird things to play with
  • Internet

The address is 30 S. Ewing

Meet at the new place.  The location is extremely tucked away.  You can arrive by turning into the Tower Hill apartment complex.  If there's no parking, try the next parking lot south of there. 

Bring your family, bring your kids(I can't guarantee they'll be entertained), bring your friends, bring your friend's friends.  The yard is not completely fenced in.  We have two slightly damaged staircases.  We don't have insurance for the new place yet.  If your kid gets hurt on the unpadded corners of life, warrior up and accept responsibility.

What: BBQ for nerds
Where: 30 S. Ewing
When:  Saturday, June 14th @3:30PM

Contact if you want to bring something or if you have any questions.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wow! We grew AGAIN!

We are now upgrading to a new hackerspace!

31 W. Ewing St.  Suite #200(we have an entire floor!).  2642sqft.  Yes, that's 2600 + 42 square feet.  Isn't that just the meaning of life?

The location is almost three times larger than our current one.  Somehow, it's not on Google Street View :P.  Pictures are better than words:
We have a couple rooms like the one above.  This one will be the A/V room for movies, Dungeons and Dragons, Anime Night, etc.  We'll keep our loud and messy entertainment here.  The other room is an equal size and on the opposite side of the building.  It will be used for computer lab.  It should be quiet and clean.

This is the main lobby.  This is where we will welcome people and socialize. We have 9 rooms.  Each room is the size of our old tiny hackerspace on Helena Ave.  We have our own doors, so we can directly control access.  This will also help with membership dues.  /me cackles.

Bathroom is not ADA compliant... but our wheelchaired member will be fine.

View of the secondary parking lot from the hydroponics corridor.  We like to push the limits of space-age agriculture.

We have seven parking spaces up top.  Three nearest the door will be handicap only.  The yard is ours as well as a two terrace garden(soon to be three terraces).  This yard is where we are going to stage another larger and not-yet-ready-to-publicize project.

When can we move in?  Well... I had some minor negotiations with the lease, but I've finally signed it yesterday.  The land owners are very considerate and they worked with me on each point.  I think we got almost everything we wanted.  I didn't get Air Conditioning in the lease because we were running out of time.  That's a later discussion.  August will get hot for us... but that will be survivable until next year when we re-negotiate.

We will have keys in hand by Tuesday.  We have 2/3rds of our stuff in boxes or bins.  We are almost ready to move!  We just need the key :P.

We have grown from a basement with Christmas lights:

September-ish 2010

To a little room in the back of a computer shop:

To a conference room in a bank:
To our new location described above!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We Accept Bitcoins!

Are you sick of bankers running your politics?  Make banks obsolete!

We accept your bitcoin for membership!  Don't have any bitcoins?  You can trade a few USD for one.  They've become pretty expensive since their popularity began to soar... but you can buy 1/1000th of one for currently 60 cents!  They'll always be redeemable for membership vouchers at MEH!

Here's what a Bitcoin is:

Here's why bankers don't like it(but can't do anything to stop it):

Make it so.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The LASER Obsession Continues...

"Meh" cut from a vinyl record
Art/photo by beckybutton

We’ve done it before.  We’ve started with less.  And we’re doing it again.  Let’s get a LASER cutter for the hackspace!  We’re going to do this much the same way we raised money for our 3D printer.  This time, we've got the technical skills to save us a lot of money on our end goal.

Instead of raising $1600 dollars for a finished product, we can now simply raise $850 to buy the materials to build a complete CNC LASER cutter. Check it out here.  We will build this with these plans, this stage, the seasoned EE knowledge of Jesse, and a $400 laser.  Both he and I believe the project can be completed under $800.  Our goal is to hit $850 to cover the costs of shipping and maybe some silly extra tools if we need them (like metric Allen wrenches).  Thanks to Jeff at Action TrackChair, We already have $300 and we've JUST started campaigning.

Last time, we raised $650 in the first four months!  We were well on our way to getting our 3D printer when Lulzbot simply gave us one for our efforts and excitement. Here is the results chart we used for the 3D printer.  We hope to have the money to do this by September of next year.  If you think you can pledge the money to make this happen, send a check to 302 N. Last Chance Gulch STE #340  Helena MT 59601.  You can also pledge with Paypal or credit card by going to and clicking the “Donate” button in the lower right-hand corner of the site.  We have created a separate account for this project.  We will probably have the funds to build this before September.  If we don’t, we’ll refund your money.  We would use Kickstarter for this project… but it goes against their policy and i don’t mind doing the work for the extra 5% fee.  We can do a Kickstarter for creative inventions.

Now we are working to get the funds for a LASER cutter.  Here are some cool things you can make with a LASERcutter:

More importantly: The cost of laser cutting is roughly equal to the cost of the material being cut +15cents an hour of cutting.  The cost of 3D printing is between $8-$15 a pound.

Shout back your support of this project so we can start building a funding ladder to our goal!  How much would you be willing to chip in to see a LASER cutter at MEH?  How interested are you in helping us campaign for funding?  How would you use a LASER cutter?

I’ll send this out to ~700 people towards the end of this month.  If you see typos or would like to reword parts of it, get me the revisions by the 25th.  If you would like to help out by some other means, contact me with your solutions; I will do my best to route you to other passionate minds.  Our hackspace continues to grow in its capacity to help find talent, equipment, and space for you and your projects.  Soon we will have a CNC LASER cutter to further that purpose.

I had a hard time finding a laser. This really isn't my area of expertise. I was finding prices between $1000 and $2000. Jesse found some better pricing for the laser: 

China $200 + free shipping

USA $269 + shipping

We are over a third of the way already! Action TrackChair has donated $300 to our cause.  They make electric wheelchairs with powerful off-road treads.  I'm sure we will use this device for interesting and useful things.
You can now check out our funding chart at 
This link­